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Any anti war movies made during WW2 years?

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There are a couple of good anti war WW1 movies made but I  can't think of a real anti-war movie made during ww2 years by US studios? Anyone else think of any top movies done that were anti- WW2 at the time?

 

BTW I am not anti WW2, later some movies were done about the "madness" of war, but those were not specific of timely. I just was thinking with the way Hollywood loves to go against the mainstream this time they seemed to follow the leader so to speak.

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I wish there had been. But chances are if they exist, they were not made by Hollywood.

 

Some of these war movies from the WWII era do sicken me.  I realized yesterday that MGM used James Stewart to promote the war in films like THE SHOPWORN ANGEL and THE MORTAL STORM, which were both made and released before the U.S. entered.  But this was all very strategic (and tragic)-- studio execs knew it was a matter of time before the country went to war, and Stewart represented the wholesome good old American boy. Putting him in uniform and creating these patriotic stories for him to play, would no doubt encourage young men his age watching these movies to go and enlist.  So in a way, they are using a fresh-faced actor to send his contemporaries off to war and in many cases, it was to certain death.  Those were expensive movie tickets when you think about it. The price was the end of a young life, many young lives. Anyone who questioned how movies were used to sacrifice these lives would be considered Un-American and a radical.  And anyone who thought of making an anti-war film would have been viewed suspiciously. In some ways, I think the moguls helped perpetuate this war because they knew that they had an instant market for a very specific genre of motion picture, and they could exploit the bejeezus out of that, no matter how much blood was shed.

 

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BTW I am not anti WW2,

 

 

That's good...'cause you're about 70 years too late for that anyway! ;)

 

 

 

 I just was thinking with the way Hollywood loves to go against the mainstream this time they seemed to follow the leader so to speak.

 

Well, while I can't think of any anti-war movies made in Hollywood during that so-called "Last Good War", I'm not sure your statement about "Hollywood loving to go against the mainstream" is really all that accurate, and not just pertaining to war-themed films. I think that idea actually runs counter to fact and which seems to be a misconception shared by many Americans, and seemingly growing in popularity, and especially whenever it seems someone is pressing their agenda(especially a political agenda), as Hollywood has always been MUCH more about catering to what the so-called "Mainstream" wants because they've always wanted what's in the pockets of the "mainstream".

 

(...namely "money")

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Putting him in uniform and creating these patriotic stories for him to play, would no doubt encourage young men his age watching these movies to go and enlist.  So in a way, they are using a fresh-faced actor to send his contemporaries off to war and in many cases, it was to certain death.

Uh, you do realize that he had joined the Army (after several failed attempts) before the war ever started, flew 20+ sorties during the war, and continued flying through Vietnam?

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Uh, you do realize that he had joined the Army (after several failed attempts) before the war ever started, flew 20+ sorties during the war, and continued flying through Vietnam?

 

And his son, Ronald, was killed while serving in Vietnam.

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And his son, Ronald, was killed while serving in Vietnam.

Didn't know that. Thanks, ma'am. My dad worked a second job as bartender at Dyess in the early 60's, and would serve Stewart drinks when he'd fly in.

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The USA faced an existential threat in WWII, that it did not face in WWI. Thus, no antiwar sentiments expressed in mainstream films. We all know that Hollywood turned out lots of propaganda films then, and some were rather good, as films. They all helped to keep up the morale "on the home front."

 

TB, I cannot agree that Hollywood was trying to prolong the war to increase their profits. Makes no sense. With their calls to enlist, and to buy war bonds, if anything, they shortened it. All the better to get the GIs back sooner, where they could spend their money in theaters.

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There are a couple of good anti war WW1 movies made but I  can't think of a real anti-war movie made during ww2 years by US studios? Anyone else think of any top movies done that were anti- WW2 at the time?

 

BTW I am not anti WW2, later some movies were done about the "madness" of war, but those were not specific of timely. I just was thinking with the way Hollywood loves to go against the mainstream this time they seemed to follow the leader so to speak.

 

There is a reason why World War II became known as "America's Last Good War." Everyone pulled together for a common cause -- to defeat the Axis Powers. Even ordinary people on the homefront made great sacrifices. And we all know what directors John Ford, Frank Capra, George Stevens, William Wyler and John Huston did during the war. There's a new book by Mark Harris that tells all about it. 

An anti-war film would have been unthinkable during the war itself. One of my favorite films is "The Victors," Carl Foreman's grim 1963 tale in which some G.I.s are bullies who shoot defenseless puppies, battle their segregated counterparts, and become involved with unscrupulous European women. This was tough material for 1963. Imagine if it had been portrayed during the 1940s -- if it could ever have gotten past the Production Code enforcers.

Of course, Americans didn't know a lot about some things that were going on. I can imagine that most didn't even realize their president couldn't walk. It was a whole different world back then.

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I'm not sure your statement about "Hollywood loving to go against the mainstream" is really all that accurate, and not just pertaining to war-themed films. I think that idea actually runs counter to fact and which seems to be a misconception shared by many Americans, and seemingly growing in popularity, and especially whenever it seems someone is pressing their agenda(especially a political agenda), as Hollywood has always been MUCH more about catering to what the so-called "Mainstream" wants because they've always wanted what's in the pockets of the "mainstream".

 

(...namely "money")

Very well put, Dargo. "Hollywood" has always catered to the mainstream because their objective is to sell tickets to the mainstream not to drive them away.

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I just was thinking with the way Hollywood loves to go against the mainstream this time they seemed to follow the leader so to speak.

 

I think just about all of the anti-War films about WW I and WW II came AFTER  the two wars. I think there were some anti-war films made DURING the Vietnam war. Others, such as LITTLE BIG MAN, showed the US Army killing women and children in the Indian-wars days of the 19th Century, as a parable about the ongoing war in Vietnam.

 

The 1957 film, PATHS OF GLORY, might have had an effect on a lot of young American men so that they decided, a few years later, to revolt and NOT be drafted to go off and fight in Vietnam, but that film was one of the main ones and first ones about bad and corrupt military commanders.

 

The great genius of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT was because all the good young men were on the German side, so that the US military was never condemned in that film.

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This one isn't WWII.. sort of in between - How about Westfront 1918 (1930)

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I wish Hollywood made movies for the mainstream but many today are driving a political agenda.  They had one of the top hollywood guys complaining about guns yet he has made all his money off of gun violence movies. When someone told him this he said you are right and he will now make anti gun movies, lol. Let's see how those do in the box office. But he admitted he will now make movies about his own political view. Other actors today do this as well and do it openly, it isn't like it is a big secret.

 

You could say the same thing about all the terrible sit-coms they have on every night. Ratings have dropped yearly for those yet they keep pumping out the same trash. Long gone are the mainstream shows.

 

WW2 should have seen at least a couple movies question the madness of 50 million people dying. Dropping an atomic bomb could have made an interesting movie too, but it saved a lot more lives then it took even though some blame us for the deaths. Vietnam is too easy to do in a movie, but WW2 was perhaps untouchable.

 

Except for the controversy over the attack on Pearl Harbor, did they know it was going to happen and let it to take us to war?

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It often seems that Hollywood made movies to sell more than just tickets. The number of war films being put out during this period was surely to increase enlistment rate, so an anti-war film would have been counter-intuitive. But it likely wouldn't have mattered if an "anti-war" film had been put out, (except for probably ruining the career of the filmmaker because of accusations of unpatriotic behavior) as even most anti-war films notoriously increase enlistment rate, as well. The way that Hollywood represented warfare might have had everything to do this, much like the way they represented gangsters. Even though the films were filled with bloodshed and tragedy, they did not make it nearly ugly enough, rather they glorified it with all those Hollywood touches that made things seem glamorous instead of repulsive. You can't market repulsive. (Well, you couldn't back then. I don't claim to understand the ways of the general public.)

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There are a couple of good anti war WW1 movies made but I  can't think of a real anti-war movie made during ww2 years by US studios? Anyone else think of any top movies done that were anti- WW2 at the time?

 

As Fred points out, there were no anti-war movies made during the first World War.  All those movies came along well after the last soldier had been buried, but from then until sometime in the late 30's, it was hard to find any movie about The Great War that wasn't implicitly or explicitly anti-war.

 

What may have been the first U.S.  "anti-war" movie made during a war was Samuel Fuller's early Korean War film, The Steel Helmet.  Not that it was "anti-war" in any direct way, and it began with  "This story is dedicated to the United States Infantry",  but the complete lack of rah-rah compared to the scores of movies made during the Second World War made for quite a contrast.  It was definitely not a favorite of the Pentagon.

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I wish Hollywood made movies for the mainstream but many today are driving a political agenda.

 

That's a noble sentiment, but what exactly is "the mainstream" in a country that's been politically divided down the middle for nearly 50 years?  Or is "the mainstream" just a euphemism for "family" films?

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Audie's Murphy's box office hit To Hell and Back was Universal Studios' biggest until Jaws.

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I wish Hollywood made movies for the mainstream but many today are driving a political agenda. 

If "Hollywood" is not making movies for the mass audience then who are they making them for?

The driving agenda for Hollywood is and always has been the bottom line.

It completely goes against their business model to produce and release films that they think will not bring in the largest audience to the box offiice. 

Movies are even audience-tested before general release and changes made to accomodate what the audience wants to see based on the tests.

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I wish Hollywood made movies for the mainstream but many today are driving a political agenda.  They had one of the top hollywood guys complaining about guns yet he has made all his money off of gun violence movies.

 

Gun violence, car chases and crashes, vulgarity, etc., for the youthful demographics of the audience. Then when there is a mass shooting, they blame the NRA.

 

 

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If "Hollywood" is not making movies for the mass audience then who are they making them for?

The driving agenda for Hollywood is and always has been the bottom line.

It completely goes against their business model to produce and release films that they think will not bring in the largest audience to the box offiice. 

Movies are even audience-tested before general release and changes made to accomodate what the audience wants to see based on the tests.

Some filmmakers are making films for themselves. They want to push the proverbial envelope...make a name, p!ss people off, get even with someone who scarred the emotionally as a youth, experiment. The list goes on.

 

Google "Boxing Helena".

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Some filmmakers are making films for themselves. They want to push the proverbial envelope...make a name, p!ss people off, get even with someone who scarred the emotionally as a youth, experiment. The list goes on.

 

Google "Boxing Helena".

We are speaking in terms of "Hollywood" productions, not maverick filmmakers.

 

The producers of BOXING HELENA didn't invest money into the movie with the expectation that it would lose money.  

The film was directed by the daughter of David Lynch (whose films had a large following) and Kim Basinger (a box office draw at the time) was supposed to star in the movie---until she backed out and was sued by the filmmakers for breach of contract.

 

.

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Oh, "we" were speaking of producers only? That's not the vibe I'm getting from reading these posts. To say that film makers (actors, directors, producers, writers, studio execs) never make "message" films whose primary purpose is pushing an idea or agenda is kind of absurd.

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Oh, "we" were speaking of producers only? That's not the vibe I'm getting from reading these posts. To say that film makers (actors, directors, producers, writers, studio execs) never make "message" films whose primary purpose is pushing an idea or agenda is kind of absurd.

 

The discussion was about productions from "Hollywood," a term that refers to the commercial US film industry. 

 

The original poster was asking if there was any "real anti-war movie made during ww2 years by US studios" and thought it was odd since he thought "Hollywood loves to go against the mainstream [but] this time they seemed to follow the leader so to speak."

 

The fact is that "Hollywood" is commercially-driven and, while producers may be willing to support a film with a "message," the expectation is to produce and release films that are profitable.

Filmmakers have historically formed production companies to finance with their own money film projects that they are passionate about,  but the major "Hollywood" producers invest in films that they expect to make money. Therefore, they want to appeal to the tastes of the mainstream (or what they perceive those tastes to be). 

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I wish there had been. But chances are if they exist, they were not made by Hollywood.

 

Some of these war movies from the WWII era do sicken me.  I realized yesterday that MGM used James Stewart to promote the war in films like THE SHOPWORN ANGEL and THE MORTAL STORM, which were both made and released before the U.S. entered.  But this was all very strategic (and tragic)-- studio execs knew it was a matter of time before the country went to war, and Stewart represented the wholesome good old American boy. Putting him in uniform and creating these patriotic stories for him to play, would no doubt encourage young men his age watching these movies to go and enlist.  So in a way, they are using a fresh-faced actor to send his contemporaries off to war and in many cases, it was to certain death.  Those were expensive movie tickets when you think about it. The price was the end of a young life, many young lives. Anyone who questioned how movies were used to sacrifice these lives would be considered Un-American and a radical.  And anyone who thought of making an anti-war film would have been viewed suspiciously. In some ways, I think the moguls helped perpetuate this war because they knew that they had an instant market for a very specific genre of motion picture, and they could exploit the bejeezus out of that, no matter how much blood was shed.

 

TB,

 

You should read Mark Harris' terrific new book, Five Came Back: Hollywood and the Second World War. It covers not only the five directors who enlisted (as well as their reasons for doing so) but also provides valuable background on the moguls, the reasons why got on the bandwagon of "we're all in this together" as quickly and enthusiastically as they did -their heritages, the worry they could be painted as "UnAmerican" and all that came with that played a much bigger part than your idea that they were only in for profits, especially after they lost the valuable foreign markets-is well worth your time. 

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